Melissa in casual style

a tree grows in New York

When Melissa graduated from high school, she walked up to the podium sans shoes. She wasn’t trying to make a style statement and it wasn’t a moment of rebellion. Melissa just likes to do what feels good—and bare feet felt right.

An Eclectic Style

Where most people wear rings and bracelets as accessories, Melissa sticks with three staples: a thermos of coffee that her kids designed, “ancient” (in her words) Ray Ban aviators, and a pair of brown Doc Martens, which have been worn so often that the leather is soft as butter.

Melissa is the type of person who listens to Rush while reading Charlotte Bronte. She melds modern with vintage, feminine with tomboy. It isn’t uncommon to see her sporting ripped overalls and immaculately manicured nails, painted a glittery pink.

Her way of life reflects her eclectic style. Melissa has done a little bit of everything, from spending a year exploring rural Montana to receiving a Masters degree in English literature. At an age when most of her peers were migrating to cities by the masses, she moved to a cabin in rural New York. She and her family run a Christmas tree farm on the sprawling property, planting saplings and pruning branches throughout the year. It’s almost as though Melissa’s style knew about her life’s calling, even before she did – her vintage overalls and leather boots fit right in while she’s trimming trees or walking her Great Danes through the rows of Douglas Firs.

Melissa gives off an essence of “effortless cool.” She wore loose, patched jeans before they graced the pages of Vogue, and her wavy and wild hair earns envious glances wherever she goes. The band tee shirts she loves so much have been dutifully collected from concerts she’s attended since she was a teenager. Doc Martens aren’t glued to her feet because they’re in style: they’ve stayed with her for ten years simply because she likes them. Her clothes are a direct reflection of the type of person that she is – someone who walks to the beat of her own drum.

It’s been twenty years since Melissa marched up to that high school podium barefoot, but that moment defines the approach she takes to her life each and every day. She does what makes her happy – and simple as it may sound, Melissa’s mentality works.

Photo Source: Leigh Michael

Leigh Michael